Stacy London attends the Refinery29 Third Annual "29Rooms: Turn It Into Art" event on September 7, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City City.

Story highlights

London wrote an essay for Refinery 29

She had financial issues after surgery

CNN  — 

It turns out 2017 was a rough one for Stacy London.

The “What Not to Wear” star has penned a deeply personal essay for Refinery 29 in which she talks about the debilitating pain that led to her having back surgery at the end of 2016 and revealed that she almost went broke during her difficult recovery.

London said it all began when she was without a job, following the end of her show “Love, Lust or Run.”

“That year was always intended to be a kind of sabbatical,” she wrote. “But by the end of it, it was clear that after four years of chronic back pain, staved off with steroid shots, I was going to need surgery. And not just any surgery, very expensive spinal surgery.”

The TV fashion expert said she was told to expect six weeks of recovery for the surgery in which her doctor had to “fuse vertebrae that were loose because they were grinding against each other, effectively turning my discs to powder.”

But London said she was not prepared for the pain she would have to endure after the surgery, or how expensive the aftermath would be.

“Without a job to go to, and with a good enough excuse not to, I started to spend money almost mindlessly: I ordered in food twice a day (mostly Bareburger and mostly with the Caviar app),” she wrote. “I bought toys for my dog Dora – toys I could barely pick up.”

London said she eventually realized she was suffering from depression, which is common for those who undergo major surgeries. She said she dealt with it by not dealing with it.

“You know what is a great salve for depression? Pretending you don’t have it,” she wrote. “More fantasies. More shopping. There just wasn’t much else I could actually do to escape what I was feeling physically and emotionally.”

In the midst of it all, she and her boyfriend broke up – just after engaging in an expensive vacation. The suicide of a college love added to her spiral, she said.

But a meeting with her accountant drove home her dire financial circumstances, London said, and helped put her on a better path in 2018.

“A lot broke last year,” she wrote. “And from all that brokenness, there is no other choice but to affirm life. It means picking up the pieces of mine off the floor.”